Evening Meditations for the 14th Day of January ~ Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Meditation

“HE WAS SUBJECT TO THEM.”

I.

St. Joseph, on his return to Palestine, heard that Archelaus reigned in Judea instead of his father, Herod, whereupon he was afraid to go and live there; and being warned in a dream, he went to live in Nazareth, a city of Galilee, and there in a poor little cottage he fixed his dwelling. O blessed house of Nazareth, I salute and venerate thee! There will come a time when thou wilt be visited by the great ones of the earth: when the pilgrims find themselves inside thy poor walls, they will never be satisfied with shedding tears of tenderness at the thought that within them the King of Paradise passed nearly all His life.

O my adorable Infant, I see Thee an humble servant-boy, working even in the sweat of Thy brow in this poor shop. I understand it all; Thou art serving and working for me. But since Thou dost employ Thy whole life for the love of me, so grant, I pray Thee, my dear Saviour, that I may employ all the rest of my life for Thy love. Look at my past life: it has been a life of sorrow and tears both for me and for Thee — a life of disorder, a life of sin. Oh, permit me at least to keep Thee company during the remainder of my days, and to labour and suffer with Thee in the shop of Nazareth, and afterwards to die with Thee on Calvary, embracing that death which Thou hast destined for me. My dear Jesus, my love, suffer me not to leave and forsake Thee again, as I have done in times past.

II.

In this house, then, the Incarnate Word lived during the remainder of His infancy and youth. And how did He live? Poor and despised by men, performing the offices of a common working-boy, and obeying Joseph and Mary: and he was subject to them. (Luke ii. 51). O God, how touching it is to think that in this poor house the Son of God lives as a servant! Now He goes to fetch water; then He opens or shuts the shop; now He sweeps the room; now He collects the shavings for the fire; now He labours in assisting Joseph at his trade. O wonder! To see God sweeping! God serving as a boy! O thought that ought to make us all burn with holy love for our Redeemer, Who has reduced Himself to such humiliations in order to gain our love!

Let us adore all these servile actions of Jesus, which were all divine. Let us adore, above all, the hidden life that Jesus Christ led in the house of Nazareth! O proud men, how can you desire to make yourselves seen and honoured, when you behold your God, Who spends thirty years of His life in poverty, hidden and unknown, to teach us the love of retirement and of a humble and a hidden life!

O my God, Thou art suffering such poverty in a shop, hidden, unknown, despised; and I, a vile worm, have gone about seeking honours and pleasures, and for the sake of these have separated myself from Thee, O sovereign Good! Now, my Jesus, I love Thee; and because I love Thee I will not remain any longer separated from Thee. I renounce all things, in order to unite myself to Thee, my hidden and despised Redeemer. Thy grace gives me more happiness than have all the vanities and pleasures of the world, for which I have so miserably forsaken Thee. Eternal Father, for the merits of Jesus Christ, unite me to Thyself by the gift of Thy holy love. Most holy Virgin, how blessed wert thou, who, being the companion of thy Son in this poor and hidden life, didst make thyself so like to thy Jesus! O my Mother, grant that I also, at least during the short remainder of my life, may endeavour to become like to thee and to my Redeemer. Amen.

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